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2016 MAC Football Preview: Toledo Rockets at Western Michigan Broncos

It’s finally here!

NCAA Football: Western Michigan at Toledo Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

With each week, and each Western Michigan win, the magnitude of this game expanded. It’s finally here, and it’s the defacto MAC West championship game. Whichever team wins, it goes to Detroit to play Ohio for the MAC crown.

If the Broncos keep winning, a Cotton bowl bid is a possibility. We don’t really know what happens beyond a MAC championship for the Broncos, because it’s decided in a room by a bunch of old men that haven’t played football since the 70s, and Condoleeza Rice. They are unimpressed with a group of college kids that have won every game this season. Winning in their world has nothing to do with the final score of football games, but which teams “look” the best. Or more accurately which teams will bring in the most money.

Luckily the MAC doesn’t use anything other than what happens on the field to decide their champions. After an almost complete season of football, we are down to this one game, for all the MAC West marbles.

Both offenses are loaded. The Broncos lead the MAC in points per game, and the Rockets lead in yards per game. The offenses have two of the most efficient quarterbacks to ever play in the conference. Chad Pennington, the long time Jets quarterback, currently holds the MAC season record for passer efficiency rating, 171.41. Logan Woodside of the Rockets is currently sitting at 185.56, while the Bronco’s Zach Terrell is right behind with 183.91. Woodside also leads the entire nation in touchdown passes, with 40.

There are three backs with over 1000 yards on the season in the conference. Two of them will be playing Friday night. Jarvion Franklin is sitting at 1228 yards on the season, and leads the MAC in yards per game, with 111.6. Kareem Hunt has 1155 yards on the season, and 4625 for his career.

Waldo Stadium will be graced by the presence of two great receivers, too. Corey Davis will likely hit 5006 career yards in this game, adding the NCAA career yards mark to his already record breaking career. Cody Thompson of the Rockets is averaging 102 yards per game, and an astounding 20 yards per reception.

The defenses charged with stopping these prolific and loaded offenses are pretty good, too. WMU does the best job stopping their opponents in the MAC, in both yards and points per game. Toledo only gives up 22.5 points per game, but it’s a bend, don’t break type of defense. That’s where I think WMU has an advantage. They don’t turn the ball over, and have the running game to punch it in when they get to the red zone.

One thing that could help the defenses is the weather. It’s harder to pass the ball when it’s 44 degrees and raining.

ESPN 2 is going to broadcast the Black Friday game at 5pm. Get your shopping done early and go watch this game. It’s one of the bigger games in MAC history, between two highly talented teams.